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Why we oppose “health care reform”

I would’ve posted an abbreviated version of this over at TalkLeft, but (perhaps fortunately) I couldn’t remember my login, which was established so long ago Gandelman could still call himself “moderate” without generating guffaws. Not that I imagine Jeralyn would let it stay longer than it took to detect it and get to her dashboard, but still…

Hang on to your hats, Democrats and Leftoids: I’m going to explain to you how to rescue the Obama Administration, defuse the TEA parties, and get Obamacare through the Congress.

This may not make sense to you. Why would I, confirmed wingnut and toothless redneck extraordinaire, tell you how to accomplish something I oppose? Two reasons: First, if you followed my suggestions it wouldn’t be something I oppose; second, I not only don’t believe you will do it, I don’t believe you can do it, and I look forward to sneering at you when you refuse to try.

Prescription follows:

Ditch “racism”. No, I know you won’t do it, because you believe in it so strongly, but it’s no longer advancing your cause, it’s holding it back. You need to get rid of it for three reasons:

  1. It isn’t true. Look, guys, I’m a genuine racist (a subject worth another post someday), I recognize my fellows, and take it from me: those guys couldn’t qualify for associate membership in the Klub. In this case, not even my racism makes any difference — I would oppose the proposals and policies being floated if Barack Obama’s skin pigment were titanium dioxide and he glowed in the dark.
  2. It isn’t relevant. Unlike a lot of wingnuts, I’m going to admit to you that there is, in fact, a racial component to Obama’s opposition. It fails to matter. Like I said, I know my fellows. The racial component is minor; it exists for the same reason Democrats allow abortion-clinic bombers in the list and support gropers as “feminist” — they’re registered, they’re gonna vote, and it’s better they vote for us than for you. If you’re fighting racism, you’re wasting your effort fighting shadows.
  3. You’ve about worn it out. It’s gotten to be a knee-jerk, a predictable operant function like switching on a light. I disagrRAAAAAAAACIST! It hasn’t yet gotten to the point where we wear it like a badge, along the same order as “Yankee Doodle”, “Dixie”, or “redneck”, but it’s moving that way — and it has reached the point where it’s a near-meaningless noise, just another donkey-bray. Lose it. It’s costing you points, not gaining them.

Convince me it will do something useful.Whether or not you believe it, there are really very few people on our side who think brown people should be allowed to die from lack of medical care. We don’t believe that the proposal currently before us will significantly help anybody get medical care, and you have done nothing to convince us otherwise.

No, you really, really haven’t. You’ve insulted us; you’ve tried to browbeat us with “we won, and we get to do what want”; and you’ve cited endless wishlists of the putative benefits. It hasn’t helped. We’re wingnuts. We have to see mechanisms. To blazes with arguments about costs. Tell us how it’s going to work. Tell us how this massive reorganization of a system that works pretty well as it stands is going to do a better job.

I can’t tell you how to do that, because I don’t believe that it will or can work, but I can tell you a few things that won’t convince us, and it’s pretty much a list of what you’re doing now:

  1. Insults. Telling us we’re too stoopid to figger it out is not going to get you any support, and the continual repetition of that line is a huge factor in the growth of the TEA Party movement. Even if it were true, it would say more about you than about us — horses are pretty stupid compared to people, but if my horse doesn’t do what I want it’s my fault for not teaching him properly, not his. “RAAAAAAAAAAACIST” falls into the same category (see above). So does “Rethuglikkan”. Those of us who oppose this crap are damned near as disgusted with the Republican Leadership as exemplified by John McCain and Olympia Snowe as we are with you.
  2. “Trust us.” We don’t trust you, and you’ve given us no reason to change that attitude. That’s largely your fault. You’ve spent the last decade in a massive campaign to get people not to trust the Government, and it’s borne fruit. (What? That was only against George Bush and his evil henchmen? Buuuuuuuuuwahahahaha! Welcome to the class, kiddies. Today’s subject is collateral damage.)
  3. The Wonderful Europeans. There’s many more than one or two of us who still remember that this country was largely founded by people who hated the European way of doing things, and left to get away from it. There are quite a number of us who have had direct experience with European procedures and methods, including as regards health care, and came away convinced that they’re a gang of fools. Even the most evenhanded of us is fully aware (as you don’t seem to be) that there are just as many anecdotes of disaster as there are of favorable results; and there are a lot of us old enough to remember that the trade deficits of the last half-century were the result of a conscious intent to subsidize the largely-prostrate economies of the world after WWII. Sure the Euros have great medical care. There’s a line in a Tom Clancy book that summarizes that: The Americans will pay, as usual. That may not be true in future, and true or not it doesn’t impress us with how wonderful the Europeans are.

Convince us that Dear Leader and the other high-level promoters believe it will work. This may be the most subtle, and the most damaging, problem you have.

You keep telling us this’ll be the greatest thing since Simmelweiss discovered sanitation, but we can’t help noticing that it doesn’t apply to Barack, Nancy, Harry, or any of the other avid promoters. It doesn’t apply to Union contracts; it doesn’t apply to Government workers (SEIU or otherwise); the Congress and its aides, courtiers, and hangers-on will go on with their very own special arrangements; in fact, the only people it does appear to apply to are the same people you’ve been saying for years you want to punish, and it isn’t hard to conclude from that that you’ve found a way to take revenge whether the actual proposal will do anything or not.

At the very minimum, you’re going to have to modify the proposal so it applies to the Government drones first. “Goodies for me, the bill for thee” is a tactic sure to keep the TEA Party movement growing.

Cut out the razzle-dazzle. It’s become a little too evident that one of the main reasons the bill is so long and complicated is to hide provisions we would (and do) strongly oppose. The idea was to combine that with the hurry-up to get it passed, and sneak massive entitlements and special favors for the Friends of Jack Murtha (and others) by in the rush.

This is a variant of the “trust me” tactic deprecated above. It ain’t gonna work. There’ve been enough delays that the main thrust of the bill is becoming clear to everyone, and more and more of the specific provisions are starting to be examined — and as that happens, it gets more and more obvious that it’s laden with Easter eggs, poison pills, and “triggers” that shift a lot of cash to people whose only “need” is that they “need” to be repaid for supporting Democrats. Lay out the proposal in plain terms, including all the booby-traps, and let’s talk. There may be more we agree on than you think.

Another aspect of “razzle-dazzle” is the nonsense about “bipartisanship”. We in the rank-and-file figured out long ago, and some of the brain-dead Republican “leadership” is gradually discovering, that the only reason you want to “reach across the aisle” is so, when some hidden mine in the law goes off and destroys something valuable, you can assume a big-eyed Betty Boop pose: “But the Republicans agreed to it!” Eff that. Your party controls the House, the Senate, and the Presidency. Pass the damn thing if you can, and stop trying to put together the CYA package — or, at minimum, don’t be so damned blatant about it. It’s supposed to be subtle, doggonit. If the Hon. Ms. Snowe has managed to figure out what you’re up to — and it appears she has — it ought to be a sort of hint that you need to tell the trumpeters and cymbal-players to cool it.

That’ll do to get on with. Just remember: when you reject that program in disgust, as you are bound to do, you should visualize me, rolling on the floor and laughing my ass off.

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When I Posted

September 2009